Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik arrived back in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to a rousing reception as the nation’s first newly crowned world champions, ending a 45-year wait for the honour.

After tasting success at the pinnacle of the world meet, Chia said the next target would be to summit the world rankings.

“Winning the World Championships is motivation for the future. It wasn’t easy to achieve as we had lost often in the semi-finals this year and had to deal with a lot of criticism. But some of those unsavoury comments made us more motivated.

“Our aim is to gradually reach the world number one spot, a target which we must work hard for,” he said.

Soh compared the reception the pair received at Kuala Lumpur International Airport to when they clinched bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

“It was the same atmosphere as last year, where many people greeted us. But we didn’t manage to perform after that, and lost a lot of matches.

“We were disappointed with our results, but most importantly we did not give up,” he said.

The pair already received RM220,000 each from the Badminton Association of Malaysia, Yonex and the National Sports Council incentive scheme.

Sports Minister Faizal Azumu announced the pair would also be rewarded financially by the Sports Ministry, but did not disclose the amount as he wanted the duo to stay grounded and not be blinded by money.

“We want them to remain grounded and win more titles,” he said.

The pair, now fifth on the world ranking, next prepare for two big assignments at the Denmark Open (October 18-23) followed by the French Open (October 25-30).

Chia would also embark on a big personal milestone as he planned to tie the knot with his partner this month.

Both shuttlers were greeted by their loved ones at the airport after taking questions from the press.